The site is located in the St Stephens Street area and is 0.13 hectares in size. The site mainly comprises shops along St Stephens Street and Westlegate and office floorspace on the upper floors.
The site is surrounded by a wide range of uses from retail units to banks and restaurants. It is located at the busy junction of Westlegate, Rampant Horse Street and St Stephens Street.
The St Stephens area is almost exclusively in retail use, although service industries (banks, estate agents, etc.) and restaurants, cafés and bars are also spread throughout. Some buildings are in office use above ground floor level. This area contains the majority of large department stores, shopping malls and national chains in the city centre, and includes the city’s main bus interchange. St Stephens Street is a major route into the city from the south-west.
As a result the street is busy with both pedestrians and traffic and is characterised by large buildings or blocks of buildings. It is modern in feel, although it includes many historic buildings; the area is also important archaeologically. The main routes are wide with spaces often at the junction of streets, indicating the former market uses of the area.
There is a great variation in the character and quality of existing frontage development within the site: the frontage development facing St Stephens Street comprises locally listed buildings while the Westlegate frontage buildings are regarded as “negative buildings” in the City centre conservation area appraisal.
Westlegate is currently an access route through the city centre. However, the adopted NATS identifies it as a route for pedestrianisation, with access only for residents and businesses.
The JCS identifies the St Stephen’s Street area as an area of change requiring comprehensive regeneration. It states that the St Stephen’s area will be developed for mixed uses in accordance with the St Stephen’s Street area outline masterplan, to promote retailing, offices and housing and to create an improved pedestrian environment.
The development has the potential to make a significant contribution to the regeneration of the wider area, through the creation of a high quality streetscape which respects and enhances the character of this part of St Stephen’s Street and Westlegate, contributing to a more attractive public realm and a more pedestrian friendly environment, and complementing the NATS proposals for a traffic-free Westlegate.
Development proposals should address the site’s constraints which include its location in the City Centre Conservation Area and Area of Main Archaeological Interest, and the requirement for off-street servicing.
The locally listed building fronting St Stephen’s Street and extending into Westlegate should be retained, whilst the building on Westlegate identified as a ‘negative building’ in the City centre conservation area appraisal may be demolished as part of a redevelopment scheme.
The site is suitable for continued retail use at street level, with office provision suitable on upper floors given its highly accessible location adjacent to the bus station. The vacant upper floor office space should ideally be retained and refurbished to suit future uses. However, if other uses other than offices are proposed, consideration should be given to development that could bring regeneration benefits to the St Stephens Street area, which might include hotel use.
Future proposals should be consistent with the overall approach set out in the St Stephens Street area outline masterplan and take account of the City centre conservation area appraisal.
An archaeological assessment will be required prior to development.
The site is in single ownership and is actively being promoted for development. The site is suitable and available for development during the plan period.
POLICY CC28: Land and buildings at the junction of St Stephens Street and Westlegate – mixed use development
The site is allocated for mixed use development of up to four storeys.
- retain the locally listed building which fronts St Stephen’s Street and extends into Westlegate;
- provide retail units at ground floor level; and
- provide upgraded office floorspace on upper levels.
Hotel use would also be an acceptable use for upper levels.